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Electrophoresis. 2004 Oct;25(20):3398-405.

Fundamental aspects of contactless conductivity detection for capillary electrophoresis. Part II: Signal-to-noise ratio and stray capacitance.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.


The signal-to-noise ratio of a contactless conductivity detector for capillary electrophoresis was examined for different cell arrangements and operating parameters. The best signal-to-noise ratios, and hence the best detection limits, are obtained for frequencies which give highest sensitivity. Comparative experiments for three different excitation voltages (20, 100, and 200 V(pp)) showed that the best signal-to-noise ratios were achieved for the highest excitation voltage of 200 V(pp). Low conductivity of the background electrolyte solution is mandatory to obtain lowest noise levels, and also the improvement on applying high excitation voltages was best for the electrolyte solution with lowest conductivity. The diameter of the electrodes was found to have only a negligible effect, so that a tight fitting of the electrodes to the external diameter of the capillary is not necessary. A cell without shielding between the two electrodes showed significant direct coupling (stray capacitance) and lower signal-to-noise ratios for all experimental conditions used. A serious distortion of the peak shapes was also observed for this cell arrangement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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